SmackDown Live, The Show That WWE Forgot…
Well, only for this week!
With the RAW exclusive Payback due this Sunday, you can forgive WWE for not focusing too much on SmackDown Live. But the brand split isn’t new anymore, we’ve had exclusive PPVs before and SmackDown Live has often, if not always, held its numbers above RAW. So why the dip?
Putting Payback to one side, let’s look at a few different angles.
Before the shows: Kalisto did a great job of promoting his one off match with Braun Strowman before Payback. Whether people took it seriously or not, it got people talking. Further to that, it was a Dumpster Match, how very Attitude Era! Whether people thought it was going to be good or not, it was hard not to be drawn to into the match.
Monsters have weaknesses Braun, you are no monster. I challenge you to a dumpster match. Then I'll reveal the kind of monster trash you are.
— KALISTO (@KalistoWWE) April 22, 2017
Compare that to SmackDown Live… and I can’t remember any hype before the show. None. Please correct me if I’ve missed something, but surely that’s the point? If done correctly, I wouldn’t have missed anything.
Some would say that RAW’s extended show can drag and get boring, while SmackDown Live’s shorter air time keeps things tight and fresh. However, if you look at the SuperStars that are featured, RAW has A LOT to offer. Don’t get me wrong, SmackDown Live has a fantastic array of talent, it’s just hard to compete with the the sheer volume that RAW had on display (even without Roman Reigns).
It doesn’t help SmackDown Live to have Nakamura in another promo rather than featuring in a match. Couple Nakamura’s feature with Tye Dillinger appearing on NXT, you’re left with a weakened roster. If the crowd and audience is excited about two new SuperStars , SmackDown Live needs to push them… but they aren’t at the moment.
Unfortunately Randy Orton vs Erick Rowan was forgettable, with the main talking points being Breezango’s number 1 contender win (WHAT!?) and the continued dissatisfaction within the Women’s division. Also… still no match for Becky Lynch!? SmackDown Live just feels like it’s floating along with minimal direction.
All of this discussion excludes the US title because HOT DAMN!!!! If WWE should do anything, it’s focus on that.
Back to RAW, and it is important to note that RAW had no impact on Payback what so ever. However the entertainment value was high enough to make up for the lack of context. SmackDown Live suffered the same problem, but didn’t really make up for it anywhere.
After the shows, well that doesn’t really affect viewing numbers, but the main talking points were shared between Bray Wyatt’s official return and the SmackDown Live Tag Team challengers.
So what’s the author’s opinion? Well, this is a blip in the numbers. Payback and, to an extent, Backlash are PPVs that WWE want to get out of the way so they can focus on future developments. I think that SmackDown Live will get back its former glory, but keep an eye out… Finn Balor could easily raise the roof at RAW.
Which show did you prefer this week? Will SmackDown Live return to past form?
Let us know what you think in the comments!